We recently had the opportunity to test out the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. This was our first hybrid that we have reviewed, so we had no idea what to expect. Would we need to plug it in somewhere? How does this thing work?
This thing charges itself.
Now Why Doesn’t My Phone Do That?
After being able to drive two hours into New Jersey and back without using much gas at all, we were so impressed. At the end of the week, after driving almost 200 miles and back, around the Bronx throughout the week, to Belmont Racetrack on Mother’s Day, and finally to Manhattan- we were still left with 2 bars of gas.
The Way It Works: When the battery runs out, the Sonata Hybrid shifts to gasoline engine mode. The electricity generated from the operating engine charges the battery. Sonata Hybrid’s advanced regenerative braking system charges the battery whenever the brakes are applied. Also, the car ensures the most economical drive with the world’s first parallel hybrid-only engine.
Hyundai’s Bluedrive is what makes this car so different. The philosophy focuses on improving fuel efficiency and driving the expansion of the green vehicle market.
The Hyundai Motor Group plans to establish a full lineup of green models ranging from compact cars to SUVs by 2020.
The green automobile market is expected to expand from 2 million units in 2014 to 6.4 million units by 2020.
Hyundai Motor is investing in green car technologies in order to become a leader in this emerging market.-Hyundai Motors
As far as technology and features, the Sonata has everything we look for. From the hands free smart trunk to separate temperature controls for the driver and passenger. It might be green, but it doesn’t take away from the advanced features we look for in a new car.
As a passenger in charge of the navigation and audio, I will admit that I have come to love the dial in the middle console of the Mazdas- which make it easier for short folks like me to comfortably change the radio station or access other features on the screen. But, the wide 8″ touchscreen with an impressive navigation system in the Sonata is still great.
You’ll also notice the cluster on this car is made specifically for the Hyundai Hybrid- allowing you to easily read your eco levels and see exactly what is happening while you drive. You’ll even notice the car get even more quiet when parked or at a light, this is because both the hybrid engine and traction motor completely stop so that there is no fuel consumption or emissions.
DID YOU KNOW? Because the hybrid engine is so noiseless, there was a need for a virtual engine sound that sounds like a conventional engine in order to let the pedestrians know that a car is approaching.
Other features include a rain sensor which sets the wiper speed, seat warming and cooling, an electric parking brake, and three different driving types: normal, sports, and eco.
Meanwhile in the back, our 10 and 3 year old were comfortable in the beige leather seats. With one in her convertible carseat, there was still some room for grandma to sit on Mother’s Day. Usually in our smaller car, a middle passenger does not last long back there.
Some Safety Features:
- Virtual hybrid engine sound system (VESS)- mentioned above
- 6-airbag system
- Traction control system (TCS)
- Active headrests
- Electric parking brake (EPB)
The trunk space in the Sonata Hybrid is nice- apparently the battery was relocated to the tire well for the 2016 Sonata, which left 380 liters of more luggage capacity. Also, don’t forget the hands free technology for when your hands are full- these smart trunks are a lifesaver for busy moms. Simply stand in front of the trunk for three seconds and the trunk will pop open.
All in all, we were really impressed with our first Hybrid review and glad that it was the Sonata to introduce us. The safety, fuel economy, and green features were all there. We are excited to learn more about the Hybrid models can’t wait to check out more of Hyundai’s Bluedrive fleet of vehicles. For more information, visit worldwide.hyundai.com.
We were given the opportunity to review the 2016 Hyundai Sonata. As always, all opinions expressed our are own.